Dental Implants

Understanding the Importance of Dental Implants

Dental implants make it possible to place prosthetic restorations permanently, alleviating the concerns associated with removable replacement teeth. The dentist will refer you to an oral surgeon, who will place your dental implant. The implant consists of a titanium screw that is inserted into the jaw, where it will eventually integrate with the bone. This process can take several months. Once the implant has integrated with the jawbone, Dr. Hawks will place the permanent restoration at that time, which could be a dental crown or dentures, depending on the number of missing teeth.

Choosing a New Smile with Implants

While dental implants are an ideal option for people wanting secure tooth replacement that can last well over 20 years, they are not appropriate for every patient. Before recommending dental implants, Dr. Hawks will perform a comprehensive examination and conduct a thorough dental and medical history. Specific considerations before determining dental implant candidacy include:

  • Jaw health. Dental implants need strong, healthy jaw bone tissue in order to provide a secure base for replacement teeth. Very often, people with compromised bone health do not qualify for traditional dental implants. However If you have weakened jawbone due to years of wearing dentures, talk to Dr. Hawks about non-traditional implant options that might work better for you.
  • General health. If you have pre-existing chronic conditions such as diabetes or cardiovascular disorders, you may not qualify for dental implant. If you do have a serious health condition, your case will need to be reviewed on an individual basis.
  • Cigarette use. Smoking greatly increases your risk of dental implant failure. Therefore, if you smoke, you may need to quit before you can qualify for the procedure.
  • Oral hygiene record. Dental implants are easy to care for but if you have a record of poor oral hygiene, your dentist may ask you to demonstrate a commitment to improving your at-home hygiene habits before considering you for the dental implant procedure.

Find Out if You Qualify for Dental Implants

If you’ve lost one or more teeth, then find out if you qualify for dental implants by speaking with Dr. Hawks during your next visit. To schedule an appointment, call our dental office in West Des Moines, IA, at (515) 225-6665. Since 1985, Dr. Hawks has proudly served the residents of West Des Moines, as well as Urbandale, Johnston, Waukee, Grimes, and all surrounding communities since 1985.